- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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It was a shocker at the time when the New York Giants traded up and did so for a quarterback.
Drafting Ryan Nassib in the fourth round and moving up and surrendering a sixth-round pick for a guy that Jerry Reese honestly hopes never plays had a lot of fans scratching their heads. There were cornerbacks, safeties and (gasp!) linebackers available in the fourth round.
Personally, I like the fact that the Giants finally addressed an area that they've kind of been putting off for years. They need a young quarterback to develop and groom behind Manning. Yes, Manning never misses games -- 135 consecutive regular-season games and counting -- and could play on for several more years.
But what if he does get hurt? The thinking has been that if Manning ever gets hurt, the Giants are done (not disrespecting David Carr but Manning is the one Giant who can't be replaced right now). I understand how some of you guys are thinking. It would have been easier to swallow if the Giants had landed a young quarterback in the fifth round or later and taken a need area in the fourth.
But Nassib offers value the Giants felt they could not get by drafting anybody else. He was a second-row player for them -- meaning second-round value available in the fourth round. He now gives the Giants a security blanket they've never really had for Manning -- a break glass in case of emergency option -- and perhaps could be a trade chip a few years from now if Manning is still going strong. Or he could be the potential Giants quarterback of the future.
ESPN NFL analyst Bill Polian picked his favorite picks of the draft and he led with the Giants' selection of Nassib. Here's his breakdown:
I think that the New York Giants landed a tremendous asset by taking Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib.
As I mentioned before the draft, there were no quarterbacks that I believed warranted an early selection. But that doesn't mean the position is devoid of talent. Just that these prospects need time to develop and make use of some of their tools and ability. With Nassib, he's going to get precisely that.
Playing behind Eli Manning, there will be no rush in his development. He can sit back, watch and learn, all while providing the Giants with a terrific safety net in the event of an injury to Eli and perhaps even proving to be Manning's successor.
By Nassib's third year in the pros, Manning will be 35, an age at which statistics have shown QBs usually start to break down physically. Their skills may not have diminished, but the accumulation of the punishment they've endured starts to take its toll and injury becomes far more common. By the time that starts to impact Eli, Nassib should be experienced to the point where the Giants will feel comfortable inserting him into a game and still feeling they have better than a 50-percent chance to win.
It may have seemed like a strange pick because quarterback isn't an immediate need for the Giants. But this pick was made with the long view in mind. And I think it was a very savvy selection.
Here are 12 more that stood out to me as particularly strong choices based on the information we have on these prospects right now.
Tell me what you think of the Nassib pick now that you've had time to absorb it. Happy? Upset?